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Back during the 2000 Presidential campaign, I’ll admit I fell in love with John McCain. Finally, a candidate that seemed to care more about people and less about partisan politics. I didn’t agree with him on everything, but I did always believe he was about as honest as they come. The “Straight Talk” seemed to really be that.
Over the course of the next several years, I still , for the most part, counted him among the elected officials I respected … and I always enjoyed the way he could laugh at himself during appearances on The Daily Show, for example.
Then came the 2008 Presidential campaign. The John McCain we all witnessed was not the John McCain so many knew. He apparently had allowed himself to be handled by the wrong people. His mistakes seemed to culminate in choosing as a running mate one of the most polarizing individuals American politics has seen in recent times. Apparently her qualification was that she was conservative. At least everyone I talked to who said they liked her seemed to like her for that reason. Which I guess means ones idealogy is more important for some than one’s ideas about making America better for the people.
If you, like me, watched the 2008 Presidential campaign closely, you saw John McCain over and over again referred to as a “Maverick”, often by John McCain himself.
So, was the John McCain of 2008 being dishonest? Or is the John McCain of 2010, fighting for his political life, being dishonest? And will we ever know for sure?
Is the McCain of the 2008 campaign and beyond the latest victim of hyper-partisan politics? Does he believe he can no longer win on a platform of doing the right thing for people and fighting corruption on both sides of the aisle? Has he bought into the idea that it’s all about idealogy and not ideas, all about partisan politics and not people and their problems? Has he forgotten who he works for?
If he has, then we’ve lost another statesmen.